Warriors Against Leukemia and Lymphoma


Juniors Samantha Lyon, Georgia Baker, and Eliza Herring (right to left) are joining the fight against cancer. Photo provided by Georgia Baker.

By Lainie Pennington, Copy Editor

Juniors Samantha Lyon, Eliza Herring, and Georgia Baker are joining the fight against cancer as candidates for Students of the Year, a fundraiser and competition hosted by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The seven week long fundraiser began Jan. 11 and runs until March 2.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families through research and advocacy. According to the LLS, a person is diagnosed with a form of blood cancer approximately every three minutes and every nine minutes a person will die from blood cancer.

Though all three of their lives have been touched by cancer, the group came to the competition by chance. “We’re all in National Honors Society and they set a volunteer opportunity at Light the Night, which is put on by LLS and we ended up signing up for an extra shift. We got there earlier and we were helping out and this woman [Susan Korte], who is actually the coordinator for the Students of the Year, she said, ‘You know you guys would be super awesome for this. You could be a team.’” said Eliza Herring. Shortly afterward they met with Korte again and began the process of organizing their team, Team Warriors.

This year, 10 teams in the Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter are competing to raise the most money to benefit the LLS and their work. In turn the winners receive a $2,500 scholarship. Last year Wilson High School Student Dylan Conway was the Student of the Year winner and recipient of the scholarship.

“During the planning process we had to create a team around us to support us and help us expand our network. So we got in contact with family friends and relatives. We had to work on organizing that and keeping people on schedule,” said Herring. The next stage was building their website and sending letters asking for donations. “We probably spent about five hours stuffing letters.”

The letters were written from the perspective of Samantha Lyon, whose younger cousin, Brennan Burnett, is their Honored Hero for the Fundraiser. “He was diagnosed with ALL [Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia] when he was four and he’s more likely to get Leukemia because he has Down Syndrome. He went through two years of treatment and is now cured,” said Lyon.

As of Feb.8, the team has raised $10,200. Their original goal was $10,000, but with their success so far they’ve raised it to $17,000. “Right now we’re working on getting a donation from every state. That’s our goal and we have many goals along the way to help us stay motivated throughout this process,” said Georgia Baker. The Students of the Year Campaign has a collective goal of raising $100,000.

Though their campaign ends March 2, they are hosting an auction on March 4 as a final push for fundraising. “We went up and down Division asking businesses for auction items,” said Lyon. In addition, Stella Taco, a restaurant on Division, is also hosting a fundraiser during the month of February to support their campaign.

Throughout the process Lyon, Baker, and Herring learned a lot about time management and organization, as well as taking risks and being able reach out. When asked about her takeaways from this process, Lyon said, “Just being willing to ask people and being willing to be said no to and that a lot of people are willing to support this awesome cause. Everyone is really willing to help.”

Those interested in supporting their cause can visit their website at tinyurl.com/LLSWarriors